December 31, 1837, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

April 10, 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rural Cemetery, Chester, Pennsylvania.


Sweney’s musical gift showed itself at an early age. While still a boy, he began to teach music in the public schools and lead Sunday school performances. At age 19, he started studying music in earnest under Professor Bauer, a celebrated German teacher. He took violin and piano lessons, and about this time became a choir leader. He was also in constant demand for children’s concerts and for conducting glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Dover, Delaware. When the American civil war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment. After the war, Sweney became Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked there over 25 years, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Music (1876) and Doctor of Music (1886).

Sweney composed music for more than 1,000 Gospel songs, and collaborated on many collections. His works include:

  1. Sing On
  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. All Is Ready
  4. Almost
  5. Arch Street
  6. As the Bird Flies Home
  7. At the Breaking of the Day
  8. Attainment
  9. Awake! Awake!
  10. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  11. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  12. Balm in Secret Prayer
  13. Banff
  14. Bells Are Calling, The
  15. Berkeley
  16. Bermuda
  17. Beulah Land
  18. Blest, Blest Forever
  19. Blood Is All My Plea, The
  20. Bratislava
  21. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  22. By and By
  23. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  24. Calvary
  25. Close Thy Heart No More
  26. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  27. Come in, O Blessèd One
  28. Coming to Jesus
  29. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  30. Côte d’Ivoire
  31. Cova da Iria
  32. Cugnaux
  33. Dragicevic
  34. Endure to the End
  35. Everlasting Song, The
  36. Fairer Than the Morning
  37. Falter Not
  38. From the Cross to the Crown
  39. Gather the Reapers Home
  40. Glamorganshire
  41. Glory
  42. Go Work in the Vineyard
  43. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  44. Going Home Rejoicing
  45. Golden Key
  46. Good News
  47. Great Judgment Day, The
  48. Guatemala
  49. Hamsher High
  50. Handful of Leaves, A
  51. Happy Tidings
  52. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  53. He Feedeth His Flock
  54. He Has Come
  55. He Saves Me
  56. He Saves Me Through and Through
  57. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  58. He Will Gather the Wheat
  59. He’ll Do Better for You
  60. Hillsdale
  61. Hilton Head
  62. His Child Forevermore
  63. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  64. Holy, Holy, Is What the Angels Sing
  65. Hour of Prayer, The
  66. How Oft We Are There
  67. I Have a Friend
  68. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  69. I Live but in Thee
  70. I Shall Have Wings
  71. I Will Shout His Praise in Glory
  72. In the Morning
  73. Is It Nothing to You?
  74. It Is Good to Be Here
  75. Jesus Is Passing By
  76. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  77. Jesus Leads
  78. Jesus Promised Me a Home
  79. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  80. Joyfully Sing
  81. King’s Highway, The
  82. Knock of the Nail-Piercèd Hand, The
  83. Lake Tahoe
  84. Launch Out
  85. Lost Are Coming Home, The
  86. Lost but Found
  87. Medan
  88. Midnight Cry, The
  89. More About Jesus
  90. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  91. Music of the Angels
  92. My Rest
  93. My Savior First of All
  94. My Soul Shouts Glory
  95. New Song, The
  96. No Cross for Me?
  97. No Voice but Thine
  98. Not Now, but By and By
  99. Notre Dame
  100. O Blessèd Word
  101. O Church of God, Arise!
  102. O Fly to Him
  103. O Sinner, Come Home
  104. On Let Us Go
  105. On the Hallelujah Line
  106. On the Victory Side
  107. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  108. Only Once You Pass This Way
  109. Onward and Upward
  110. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  111. Out in the Sunshine
  112. Out on the Desert
  113. Palm Springs
  114. Peace to My Soul
  115. Petersburg
  116. Phares
  117. Phinehas
  118. Praise and Magnify Our King
  119. Praise, Praise His Name
  120. Precious Moments
  121. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  122. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  123. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  124. Rest By and By
  125. Rock in the Desert
  126. Room for the World
  127. Safe in the Glory Land
  128. Schindler
  129. Seek Ye First
  130. Send Out the Sunlight
  131. Shanghai
  132. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  133. Shining for Jesus
  134. Shout in the Camp, A
  135. Show Me the Rock
  136. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  137. Since I Found My Savior
  138. Sing Once More of Jesus
  139. Singing of Jesus
  140. Smile from Jesus, A
  141. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Before
  142. Speak for Jesus
  143. Sunshine in the Soul
  144. Standing on the Battlements
  145. Step into the Fountain
  146. Sweet Assurance
  147. Sweet Story of Jesus
  148. Sweeter as the Days Go By
  149. Take Courage
  150. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  151. Tasmania
  152. Tell It Out with Gladness
  153. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  154. Tell the Blessèd Story
  155. Tell the Whole Wide World
  156. There Is No One Like the Savior
  157. There’s a Blessing at the Cross for Me
  158. There’s a Hand Held Out
  159. There’s a Message from the Lord
  160. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  161. Thy Hope for Eternity
  162. Till the Boat Comes By
  163. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  164. Trusting in Jesus
  165. Uganda
  166. Unsearchable Riches
  167. Wait on the Lord
  168. Waiting for Me
  169. Waiting for the Promise
  170. Walking in the Good Old Way
  171. Walking with Jesus My Lord
  172. Washed White as Snow
  173. We All Can Do Good
  174. We Are Nearing
  175. What More Can He Do?
  176. When Each Others Face We See
  177. When Our Ships Come Sailing Home
  178. While the Years Are Rolling On
  179. Will There Be Any Stars?
  180. Will You Come?